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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Bates hoping to shoot down Stars

Novocastrian Samantha Bates is hoping to put the Melbourne Stars in a spin in tonight’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) final at North Sydney Oval.

The Sydney Thunder star has played a major role in the side’s 2020 campaign, snaring a total of 17 scalps at an average of 25.5.

Her best spell in WBBL06 was 3-9 against the Perth Scorchers, including the big wicket of Player of the Tournament Sophie Devine.

She also took 2-37, complementing Hannah Darlington’s 3-19, to eliminate two-time defending premiers Brisbane Heat in Thursday night’s thrilling semi.

Bates has been with the Thunder from the very beginning.

Unfortunately, the left-arm finger spinner missed Sydney’s WBBL01 success with a broken arm.

But, throughout the five editions of the highly-regarded compeition, the 24-year-old remains a key member of the team’s bowling attack.

She sits third on the list of the club’s all-time leading wicket-takers with 57, at an excellent 22.30 apiece.

Bates was part of the Australia A women’s squad, which toured Dubai in early 2015, her maiden appearance in the “green and gold”.

On Saturday 28 November, she’ll face a red-hot Stars’ line-up featuring national skipper Meg Lanning, Elyse Villani, South African Mignon du Preez, English import Nat Sciver, as well as gifted allrounders Annabel Sutherland, Erin Osborne and Alana King.

However, Thunder captain Rachael Haynes is confident her troops can prevail on the big stage.

“We’ve shown our skills can match up with anyone in this competition,” she said.

“We are looking forward to tonight’s encounter – and it’s anyone’s game.

“In a final, or in a major match, you know that pressure can make people do funny things.”

The showdown starts at 7.10pm.

Likely WBBL06 XIs

Melbourne Stars: 1 Elyse Villani, 2 Meg Lanning (c), 3 Mignon du Preez, 4 Nat Sciver, 5 Annabel Sutherland, 6 Katherine Brunt, 7 Alana King, 8 Erin Osborne, 9 Tess Flintoff, 10 Nicole Faltum, Sophie Day

Sydney Thunder: 1 Tammy Beaumont, 2 Rachel Trenaman, 3 Heather Knight, 4 Rachael Haynes (c), 5 Phoebe Litchfield, 6 Sammy-Jo Johnson, 7 Tahlia Wilson, 8 Hannah Darlington, 9 Lauren Smith, 10 Shabnim Ismail, 11 Sam Bates

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